A virtual meeting between Iran, Britain, Germany, China and Russia to discuss the possibility of reviving the nuclear deal took place on Friday, ending a months-long deadlock which had halted talks about the agreement.
A discussion between Iran, Britain, France and Germany had already taken place on Monday, with Iran setting down its own proposal for the deal at the meeting, according to diplomatic sources.
The U.S. and Iran have yet to meet to discuss the deal, but have been communicating indirectly through European countries. A further meeting between Iran and world powers has been set for next Tuesday in Austria’s capital city, Vienna.
Military-Style parades this week by Iran-backed militia groups operating in Iraq, were designed to weaken Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government, according to analysts.
In one parade apparently held to intimidate the Iraqi government, militiamen drove down a major highway and passed near ministries with Iraqi security forces stationed outside.
The incident comes as Iraq and the U.S. prepare for a fourth round of talks to discuss the pressure from Iran-aligned Shiite political groups and militias which have called for the remaining U.S. troops to leave Iraq.
And Iranian government officials were accused of materially contributing to human rights abuses not only against Iranians, but in several other countries in the Middle East, in a U.S. State Department report on human rights practices around the world.
The report noted several significant human rights issues in Iran, including unlawful killings; forced disappearance and torture by government agents; censorship; lack of meaningful investigation of and accountability for violence against women; and the unlawful recruitment of child soldiers by government actors to support the Assad regime in Syria.
The report also held that the Iranian government had committed human rights violations in Syria through its military support for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah forces; in Iraq, through aid to pro-Iran Iraqi militia groups; and in Yemen, through its support of Houthi rebels in the region.